2023 Liberated Paths Grantmaking Program Grantee Partners

We are proud to introduce the newest grantee partners of the Liberated Paths grantmaking program, for the first time ever in North and South Carolina! 

In 2023, through the support of our funding partner Oak Foundation, we awarded $220,000 to 12 new grantee partners in North and South Carolina! Additionally, we distributed $300,000 in grants to 13 grantee partners in the San Francisco Bay Area as part of the Youth Access to Nature Fund. Our ability to implement the bold vision of Liberated Paths is made possible by our community. Justice Outside continues to be humbled by your support, your commitment to advancing racial justice in the outdoor and environmental movement, and your trust in our vision for a just and joyful world. 

7 Directions of Service Logo

7 Directions of Service

7 Directions of Service was founded by Indigenous activists Crystal Cavalier-Keck and Jason Crazy Bear Keck on Crystal’s ancestral Occaneechi-Saponi lands, the rural Piedmont region of North Carolina. 7 Directions began as a culture class and youth program, and has grown into a regional grassroots mobilization platform, focusing much of the past 5+ years on blocking the Mountain Valley Pipeline. 7 Directions of Service works towards uplifting and uniting Indigenous communities through land-based cultural programming and leadership development.

Follow 7 Directions of Service on Facebook and Instagram and learn more about their work on their website here.

Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition

The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition advocates for the rights of all Gullah/Geechee people around the world, promotes and participates in the preservation of Gullah/Geechee history, heritage, culture, and language, works toward Sea Island land re-acquisition and maintenance, and celebrates Gullah/Geechee culture through artistic and educational means electronically and via “grassroots scholarship.”

In order to advance their continued work for environmental justice and Gullah/Geechee land sustainability, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition continues to advance the “Gullah/Geechee SEA & ME Program” in which SEA stands for “saving environmental actions” and ME for “marine environment.” This work now includes a collaboration of a wide range of Gullah/Geechee organizations, environmental and academic and governmental partners focused on enacting the Gullah/Geechee Nation Sustainability Plan. At the center of this plan is using native Gullah/Geechee traditions for sustainability of the environment and adaptation planning while keeping Gullah/Geechee culture alive in the Gullah/Geechee Nation from Jacksonville, NC to Jacksonville, FL. Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation leads the Gullah/Geechee SEA & ME Program.

Learn more about the The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition’s work on their website here and follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Latinos Aventureros Logo

Latinos Aventureros

Latinos Aventureros is a bilingual community of outdoor enthusiasts dedicated to helping everyone experience the joys of nature. We’re a Latino-led organization, and we welcome people of all backgrounds and cultures to join us on our adventures. We strive to break down language and financial barriers that keep our community from exploring the outdoors. Our mission is to support and educate community members, with a focus on serving the BIPOC community. Through our adventures, we aim to promote physical and mental health, advocacy, community, provide environmental conservation education, and inspire a love of the great outdoors.

Click here to learn more about Latinos Aventurereos on their website and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

New Alpha Community Development Corporation

New Alpha Community Development Corporation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered out of Florence, South Carolina. New Alpha CDC works in the areas of the environment, health, and community economic development. The CDC places a particular emphasis on Environomics, which is the intersection where environmental issues and community economic development issues meet. Community economic development is concerned with traditional economic development, but also the development of communities and community members. Our goals at the CDC are to develop more participatory democratic empowerment models that improve the lives of lower- and middle-class people and families by building assets and creating wealth for everyday people.

Learn more about New Alpha Community Development Corporation on their website here.

Rooted In Color

At Rooted In Color, our mission is to foster a deep connection between children, their families, and the natural world through language and literacy. We use diverse picture books as a gateway to begin our exploration and connect the content to immersive nature-based experiences. Our curated books, engaging lessons, and immersive experiences enhance language skills, cultivates a love for reading and writing, creates and bond and connection with others and the environment, and instill a lifelong appreciation for the environment. Through innovative programs, engaging activities, and community partnerships, we empower young learners to become compassionate and articulate communicators who are inspired to protect and preserve our planet while enhancing their academic skills.

Click here to learn more about Rooted In Color on their website and follow them on on Facebook and Instagram.

Toxic Free NC

Since 2021, the Women of Color Farmers Network has provided an affinity space for support and skill share for 35 Women of Color members forging a path toward a self-determined future in which women of color, who have long carried the traditional knowledge of growers and nurturers, can prosper as they deserve from working with the land. Our group supports these small farm entrepreneurs through their challenges and as they seek to build a niche market for their businesses. The group connects through a monthly call, as well as through site visits and other opportunities identified by members of the group: farm visits; an annual seed exchange; trainings on topics like soil health, the Farm Bill, and how to apply for USDA grants; and visits with lawmakers and decision makers to address the needs of underrepresented farmers and advocate for conservation farming practices that restore land and health. Through regenerative agriculture, the farmers in our network are healing the land and the people, growing and providing nourishing pesticide-free food for communities while working in right relationship with the land. By centering those who for too long stewarded the land without acknowledgement, we are working to undo the racist and unjust harms of our current agricultural system and expand regenerative agricultural practices that advance social, environmental, economic, and climate justice.

Learn more about Toxic Free NC here and follow them on Instagram here.

A group of nine children and adults stand outside with a sign that reads "Earth Child inc." They are surrounded by trees.

Earth Child Inc.

As the founder and leader of Earth Child Inc., Takeya Meggett works towards educating younger generations about the significance of food systems in shaping a better world. Through practical lessons in cooking and nutrition, coupled with immersive experiences in nature, the organization fosters a profound connection with the environment. Takeya’s role extends beyond education; acting as a change maker, igniting enthusiasm in our younger population for the natural world and their place within it. By bringing youth and adults outdoors and teaching them about our ecosystem, Takeya aims to instill a lasting appreciation for sustainable living, leaving a positive mark on our planet’s future stewards.

Follow Earth Child Inc. on Instagram.

The logo of Hampton Friends of the Arts depicting the organization's name as well as the phrase Rural Redefined and a drawing of four people looking at two art pieces together.

Hampton Friends of the Arts, Inc.

Based in Hampton County, South Carolina, our team is working tirelessly to provide enriching experiences in the arts and humanities. Our mission is to leverage arts and culture to spur economic development, promote enduring positive social change, and improve the physical environment in Hampton County and surrounding areas. Our Blight Busters project engages local students in learning the principles of public design. Each student has made a volunteer service commitment to put their design skills to work overhauling blighted outdoor spaces for the enjoyment of the whole community. Our first cohort is currently designing a dog park for vacant land in Estill.

Learn more about Hampton Friends of the Arts, Inc. on their website here and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

Naturally Wild Logo

Naturally Wild

Based in North Carolina, Naturally Wild LLC hosts nature-based experiences where participants can build community while learning how to identify the local bird diversity of North Carolina and contribute to the scientific knowledge of birds in the state. Naturally Wild LLC is run by Ph.D. student Deja Perkins who engages people in their neighborhood nature through nature & science tourism. She aims to showcase how bird watching can be a fun and recharging experience in a way that centers on Black culture, Black experiences, and Black perspectives. Naturally Wild LLC will launch a new initiative the ‘Neighborhood Nature Project’ in Spring 2024 with the goal of connecting communities to their neighborhood nature. It is our hope that the Neighborhood Nature Project/Network can contribute to environmental and racial justice by 1) helping Black folk reclaim their joy in outdoor spaces; 2) promoting the learning of and engagement in outdoor-related STEM fields; 3) establishing an environmental monitoring network for ‘residents, by residents’ to increase knowledge of environmental conditions in Black communities; 4) creating space and opportunity for mental rest and healing through community-focused nature outings.

Connect with Naturally Wild Founder Deja Perkins on Instagram.

New River Catawba

The New River Catawba Nation is a Native American nation based in northwestern North Carolina. Our mission is to promote cultural awareness, pass on ancestral teachings, and teach environmental stewardship among our citizens.

Click here to learn more about the New River Catawba Nation on their website.

set in stone sustainability farm and palemetto learning academy logos

Set In Stone Sustainability Farm and Palmetto Learning Academy

Our project-based educational programming combines STEM and agriculture in order to introduce students to daily farm life and chores, drone and hydroponic technology and earth sciences. By introducing students to updated agricultural practices, As We Grow will dispel myths about farming as they relate to slavery and back-breaking farm labor. Students will be introduced to and work with farm animals, learn sustainability practices, fly drones, build hydroponic systems, conduct earth science experiments, manage their own garden and much more. As We Grow fills subject gaps and teaches students about sustainable living to improve our overall relationship with the environment.

Learn more about Set In Stone Sustainability Farm here and follow them on Instagram here. Learn more about Palmetto Learning Academy here.

Winners Institute for Successful Empowerment (WISE INC)

The Winners Institute For Successful Empowerment (WISE) Inc. is an innovative organization dedicated to empowering young individuals. With a mission to help youth rise above adversity and develop strong asset-building skills, it provides a nurturing environment where they can harness strengths and overcome obstacles. Through creative programs and collaborations, WISE enables youth to realize their full potential and become successful, empowered decision-makers in their communities. By fostering resilience, creativity, and entrepreneurship, the organization aims to bridge the economic empowerment gap and create a positive social impact. With a focus on measurable outcomes and community partnerships, WISE Inc. is committed to transforming lives and building a brighter future for all.

Click here to learn more about WISE INC on their website and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

Feature photo courtesy of partner organization New Alpha Community Development Corporation.